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Options running out for Catherine Nevin after court blocks her latest appeal

Nevin was stopped from appealing her murder conviction to the Supreme Court.

Nevin pictured during her trial in 2000.
Nevin pictured during her trial in 2000.
Image: Adian Crawley/Photocall Ireland!

Updated 3.52 pm

CATHERINE NEVIN HAS been denied in her bid to appeal her murder conviction to the Supreme Court.

Nevin had asked the Court of Criminal Appeal to allow her to apply to the Supreme Court on a point of law she argued was of “exceptional public importance”.

But a three-person court denied this application today with Justice Adrian Hardian saying that, “this case has been immensely long-running and has been entertained by the court with patience that has perhaps been excessive”.

Nevin was in court for what is likely her final bid to overturn the conviction.

The 61-year-old argued that, during the course of the her trial, her defence team was not given access to garda documents about a number of witnesses including Willie McClean.

Solicitor Anne Fitzgibbon acting for Nevin accepted that the documents themselves, Suspect Antecedent History Forms, were not in themselves evidence but argued that they could have informed cross-examination of the witnesses.

The CCA disagreed however, saying that there was “absolutely no merit to the present application”.

The judgement said that, despite their title, the documents in no way meant that McClean was a suspect, adding that his character was sufficiently detailed to the jury during the case 14 years ago.

The documents in question were only released by the State after they were published by the media.

Hardiman said that “in the normal course of events” the documents would not have been made public, adding that when they were released they were sensationalised and done so without the appropriate context.

“It was published in the form of a tabloid newspaper in the manner in which you’d expect from a tabloid newspaper,” Justice Hardiman ruled.

Nevin was not required to speak during today’s hearing and did not say anything during the judgement. She spoke to Fitzgibbon following the decision before being led away.

Nevin was sentenced to life in prison in 2000 for murdering her husband Tom Nevin in Jack White’s Pub in Brittas Bay in March 1996. She was also found guilty of soliciting the services of three men, including McClean to kill Tom Nevin at an earlier date.

The 61-year-old has always denied that she had any part in the killing of her husband and maintains her innocence to this day according to Fitzgibbon.

“She maintains that she had no hand act or part in the murder of her husband,” Fitzgibbon told the court.

The three judge panel was asked to consider whether there was sufficient public interest in referring the point of law argued by Nevin’s team to the Supreme Court.

Nevin lost an appeal to her conviction in 2003 and also lost a case last year which sought to exclude evidence from her criminal trial being used in a civil action being taken by the family of Tom Nevin.

She also lost an action aimed at having her conviction declared a ‘miscarriage of justice’.

Read: Nevin loses challenge against murder conviction’s inclusion in civil case >

Read: Catherine Nevin loses ‘miscarriage of justice’ appeal >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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